The Urban Mission in Steubenville, Ohio, has an extra $2,000 in its coffers this holiday season thanks to the efforts of Ohio’s newest RENEW chapter.
The recently-formed chapter of the IBEW’s Reach out and Engage Next-gen Electrical Workers initiative from Steubenville’s Local 246 held a car show in late October that the organizers hope will become an annual event in the community.
|Attendees gather to admire a vintage Shelby Cobra.
With more than 70 vehicles registered and even more car-enthusiasts in attendance, the inaugural event was deemed a huge success.
“We wanted to kick off our RENEW organization with something big,” said Ryan Omaits, a 33-year-old journeyman wireman who helped to establish Local 246’s chapter of young members in August. “We wanted to show the local that we could be valuable and at the same time to let the community-at-large see some of the camaraderie and civic involvement the IBEW is known for.”
Through entry-fees, a 50/50 drawing, auctions, raffles and other donations, the group raised more than $2,000 to support the Urban Mission’s annual Thom Turkey food drive which provides Thanksgiving meals to the Ohio Valley’s community members in need.
“We had a really great time,” Omaits said. “And I couldn’t be prouder of our RENEW members,” he added, saying more than 20 young electrical workers—many of them still apprentices—volunteered their time staffing the day, gathering donations for the auction and advertising the event.
Among the highlights of the car show were a half dozen World War II-era BSA motorcycles brought by one of Local 246’s retired members and a silver Shelby Cobra found hiding among the dozens of other hot-rods and muscle cars. One community member even brought a 1950s Cadillac ambulance like the one made popular in the 1980’s “Ghostbusters” films.
Retired member Dave Morgan provided live music for the attendees, some who drove from as far as 60 miles away to participate.
“For a small-town local in a rural area, this was quite an accomplishment for our members,” Omaits said of the turnout and the money raised. “We’re hoping to do the car show every year and to make it a staple of the community.”
And the car show is just the start for Local 246’s RENEW chapter, which is still in the process of electing officers and getting organized. Omaits credited Business Manager Kyle N. Brown with taking him to the Fourth District progress meeting in July and inspiring him and other young members to start a RENEW chapter.
“Ryan is a worker,” Brown said. “I’ve challenged our young members to produce, and they really outperformed with this car show. I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next.”